Event videography has always been regarded a scary endeavor even by seasoned shooters. Unlike all other types of videography, there’s only one chance to get the shot right. Couples will definitely not agree restaging their whole wedding only because you failed to take a good shot. Likewise, bands will not be putting on repeat performances after you missed out on proper preparation. Shooters always have to be on their A-game when delving into event videography, be it for birthday parties, political speeches, sports events and other occasions. Below are some pointers on how to be on top of things when shooting events.
Equipment: Convenience vs. Quality
Camcorders are real convenient to use especially that they can be recorded directly to a DVD. However, know that they create digital files and these can be hard to edit. Camcorders also record far lesser data. Most video recording devices made available in the market nowadays have automatic features which do work well for the most part. Don’t be fooled though as some have really bad backlighting. You might want to make use of cameras that have manual override instead.
Checking the Equipment
It is important to check on the completeness of equipment sets. There should be adequate tape, battery power, external microphone and a camera light that has diffusion for facial fills. Earphones will also be a great help for monitoring the recorded audio.
Regardless of experience or skills, shooters need to frequently evaluate their techniques and take the time to study what are currently being practiced by majority of field professionals. There is a need for constant improvement. Reading books alone will not be enough. It may help to watch news and observe how station staff shooters, along with editors, cover live happenings. There will usually be mixes of shots: establishing shots for overviews, medium shots for introduction, and close ups for details.
Making use of multiple cameras will allow you to capture as many great moments as possible. Even if one thing gets you distracted, spare cameras can still save your neck as long as you have them properly set up. Better yet, hire assistant shooters who can help you with your work. A lot of videography enthusiasts will take on the job for the sake of getting field experience.
The preparation phase is perhaps the most important. Here, expect to do a lot of work. Make sure to visit the venue where the event will be held beforehand. Take note of the lighting. If you notice that the area is a bit dim, you will most probably need some additional camera lights. Look for spots from where you think you can get great shots as well.
Don’t forget to inquire about how long the event will last. You will be bringing huge equipment with you and surely, you wouldn’t want to get shaky shots. For events lasting more than 2 hours, you may need to have your tripod with you.
Remember that you’re not there simply to shoot how events run through. Get shots of the guests’ reactions. Close ups will provide you a lot of options during the editing stage. For stable hand-held work, completely zoom out your lens and approach your subjects physically. This adds depth into the shots and even prevents focus errors. Avoid drinking until you have done your shots and packed all your camera equipment properly.